Caption: Joshua Wallace is swapping his work as a butcher at Safari Biltong in Hamilton for police training in Porirua.
From being something of a self-confessed, unmotivated teenage “ratbag”, Joshua Wallace is now focused on establishing himself in a sound career as a police officer where he can help others.
The 26-year-old Hamilton-based butcher has just started at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua after last year attending a 36-week police career preparation course at the Raroera campus of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. He was able to carry on his trade as a butcher at Safari Biltong near Five Cross Roads while studying at night.
Joshua says the process of gaining a Certificate in Career Preparation – Police was a big help in successfully applying for entry to police college.
“It gave me confidence with being assessed academically. Doing scenario and role play work prepared me for the work of the police. That helped me demonstrate that I had a good grip on the realities of police work when I did the formal interviews.”
The course covered academic subjects such as maths, literacy and how to do psychometric testing, as well as providing advice on fitness requirements and doing police work role plays.
A highlight of the police preparation course was a four-day visit to the police college to check it out, attend talks on what the four-month long police training involved and meet different instructors, he says.
Besides wanting assistance to prepare for the application process, Joshua says he chose the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa course to help with networking and to demonstrate to police his seriousness about wanting to enter the force.
So why the police?
Joshua, who has Māori heritage and grew up on the Coromandel, says he was a bit of an unmotivated “ratbag” in his teens and left school at 16. Eventually he realised he needed to get out of the rut he was in.
He has become a Christian and has a wife and five-year-old son.
“Heaps has changed for me from back in the day.
“Since having a family my priorities have changed and I’ve become very career focussed.”
The police force appealed because it offered the serious career he wanted and, most importantly, it also offered the chance to be of real service to the community.
“It’s got professionalism, a good team environment and values.
“There are also lots of opportunities to be in a position to help others.”
Joshua says he really enjoyed the constructive atmosphere at the Raroera campus, including the daily karakia, and described his kaiako Morgan Kutia as “good and approachable, and very knowledgeable”.
After graduation, Joshua will be looking to do his two years as a probationary officer and also think about where he wants his police career to take him. He says he’s keen to get stuck in and make progress whatever field he chooses.